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Statement on Conclusion of Court of First Instance Hearing
Five-day hearing ends on Microsoft’s appeal of European Commission’s 2004 decision.

LUXEMBOURG, April 28, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. issued the following statement, attributable to General Counsel Brad Smith, following the conclusion of the company’s appeal before the Court of First Instance of the European Commission’s March 2004 decision:

“This has been a very engaging and valuable week. Obviously, no one can predict an outcome, and I will not attempt to do so.

“It's clear that the judges have a very strong understanding of the issues at the heart of the case, and they are applying an extremely rigorous level of scrutiny.

“These hearings clearly demonstrated there is strong competition and consumer choice in today’s market.

“The outcome of this case is critical not only for Microsoft, but for future innovation in our industry. Companies need to have confidence they won’t be forced to hand over their valuable intellectual property to their competitors. In addition, companies need to have confidence they can develop new products with the features their customers want.

“Our goal was to communicate these points to the court and I think we have achieved that.

“While we disagree with the Commission on these issues, we respect its role in regulatory and policy issues. We recognize that we have important responsibilities under European competition law, we take those responsibilities seriously, and we will continue to work with the Commission to resolve these kinds of matters.

“And finally, it's important to note that these competition issues are just one part of our overall relationship with the Commission. We will continue to work with companies in Europe and the Commission on a wide range of other issues, including promoting jobs and economic growth, research and development, and children’s online safety.”

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